Music business awaits copyright ruling

Industry wants extension

LONDON — The U.K. music industry is anxiously awaiting Wednesday’s publication of a report into new media to find out whether the government will back its campaign to extend the length of time copyright protection is given to sound recordings.

The House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee will publish the document at 11:00 a.m. and lobbyists will be lining up to study its recommendations.

While the creators of works such as books and films enjoy an entire lifetime of copyright protection plus 70 years, British performers’ copyright terms are far shorter at just 50 years from the date of release. In the U.S., the equivalent term was recently extended to 95 years. An extension can only happen in the U.K. after changes in European law.

A government-commissioned review by former Financial Times editor Andrew Gowers last year recommended against the term being extended in the U.K., but the music industry has conducted a vigorous campaign to try to persuade legislators otherwise.

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